Wednesday, September 02 2020
Some very worrying reports are being broadcast from the media. People are struggling with lockdown in many and varied ways. Some are mentally not coping with being separated from their everyday life whilst others are struggling without fresh air and worrying themselves sick in the process. However, folk are not going to a doctor if they need to. They are keeping the little strength and funds they have. Clinging on to their last resources in any way possible. Fear is the culprit as we are given instruction after instruction, followed by rule upon rules.
I am probably coping better than many people as I have been working alone as a writer for many years. Also, I make little or no money from publishing and writing. Sometimes I make a few dollars, but not nearly enough to pay for even this website, so I am not worried about money in that sense. Regarding health, I do have some worries but nothing too horrible to go mad over. I love my family and am sad and a little worried about not seeing them much, distancing when we meet, or going to my overseas family after such a long time. Of course I miss them every moment, especially my children. Also, there is no hope on the horizon. I think that is the worst part of this lockdown. We do not know for how long or how severe it can get even in the months ahead.
The medics and government officials are definitely trying their utmost to give us information to keep us feeling cared for. But, all in all, is the fact that we are struggling in many ways and some are struggling a great deal, to the point of having no hope at all.
I am going to try and bring facts from God to you all, and to myself, to show us how to cope with a lockdown without hope.
1. I thought about Jeremiah, the prophet. He was God's voice for Israel for 70 years and what he had to do for his entire life was horrific if we think about it for a minute.
He had to bring bad tidings over and over to his own people. He was barely 16 when he received the first breaking bad news, and he had to fight every time he had a message. He suffered despair and anger, along with disappointment and many tears of pain and affliction. He also wrote the Book of Lamentations, which is completely sad and sorrowful. One thing he had to suffer was a massive lockdown. He was flogged for telling the message. He was locked in an old sistern (well) and left to die. This is what happened: Jeremiah 26:8
"Kill him" all the people at the temple cried. They mobbed him. Quickly, the officials brought a court together at the Temple Gate and heard his case. Some people spoke up for Jeremiah, who claimed that the Lord had predicted that ...a thicket should grow where the temple now stands..." Ahiham stood up for Jeremiah, but was dumbed down. He persuaded the officials not to turn him over to the mob, who were ready to kill him. Jeremiah told everybody to submit to the King of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar.
After this Jeremiah was put in a cell and could not even visit the temple. Jeremiah is 55 years old and is still being attacked at 61. At this point he is put into the cistern instead of a cell and left to rot. There was a thick layer of mud at the bottom and Jeremiah sank into the mud. Almost all the bread in the city was gone, so Jeremiah could even die of hunger before he suffocates. (Jeremiah 38: 6). Now a king comes into the scene, from Ethopia, not Jerusalem. He is King Ebed-melech. This King of Ethopia rushed to the King of Jerusalem Zedekiah, and told him to rescue Jeremiah. Zedekiah (shamefaced?) called for 30 men to go and rescue Jeremiah with old rags made into ropes that they got him to put under his armpits and they pulled him up. Jeremiah was then returned to the prison yard again. Jeremiah continued to bring the message from the Lord. Because of his reputation, the captain of the Babylonians, Nebuzzaradan, looked for Jeremiah and was told to give him "anything he wants" (39:12). Jeremiah continued to bring the word of the Lord through this whole saga. He eventually went to Egypt with some of his people who still refused to worship the Lord God of Israel only, but burned incense to all sorts of idol gods (wood and metal). The Lord gave a message to the whole world through Jeremiah, who kept doing as the Lord told him to do. Nebuchadnezzar went to Egypt and no doubt met Jeremiah down there, but we do not know for sure. (Jeremiah 43)
Jeremiah lived until 560 BC and died at the age of 88. (Ezekiel Timeline) One of the verses written by Jeremiah is:
"But the Lord stands beside me like a great warrior. Before him my persecutors will stumble. They cannot defeat me" (Jm 21:11)
Let us all take a leaf from Jeremiah's book and stand firm in the Lord because the Lord stands beside those who believe in Him.
"If you search for the Lord with all your heart, He will be found by you." "Come to me all you who labor and are heavy burdned and I will give you rest" (Jesus)
"This is the new covenant I will make with my people on that day (Jesus' crucifixion) I will put my laws in their heats and I will write them on their minds." (Heb 10:16)
Please do not be offended by the portrait of an unknown Aboriginal man in my Blog.
No bad intentions are meant in any way if this man reminds you of someone you know. I show no disrespect to coloured people and ask that you forgive any indiscretion you think you may find here. I respect the original folk who lived in this land before others arrived. God bless you all.
Remember, I have an Irish heritage and being a portrait painter has been part of my life since age 3 or 4 when I drew girls in fine dresses. It is simply my artistic expression. I love bringing an image to life in my art and in books, so it gives me immense enjoyment. When I created this picture I loved every moment and learned a lot about skin colour, people's expressions and the difficult in bringing an image to life. I fell in love with this painting and will always treasure it.